Boost Your Brain Power

Get smart!

Woman's Era - - Short Story - By Anu­radha Kr­ish­nan

Be­ing fit­ness con­scious, we ex­er­cise ev­ery part of the body. We have fixed ex­er­cise rou­tines where we con­cen­trate on one par­tic­u­lar part of the body each day. How about the brain? Is it not a part of the body? Ex­er­cis­ing the brain is as im­por­tant as ex­er­cis­ing any other part of the body. When you do this, your brain be­comes ra­zor sharp. Your men­tal fac­ul­ties would not be sub­jected to the va­garies of age­ing. But, if you do not ex­er­cise the brain, the brain cells be­come lethar­gic and dull. This is not a pleas­ant sit­u­a­tion.

So, here are five ways to boost your brain power:

Crossword, scrab­ble, sudoku

Set aside, daily, about hal­fan-hour, to solve a crossword or a sudoku. You can choose those ac­tiv­i­ties which sus­tain your in­ter­est. For ex­am­ple, you may opt for Scrab­ble or a card game or, bet­ter still, solve a jumble puz­zle. But do it reg­u­larly.

Learn mu­sic or a new lan­guage

This is, of­ten, a longcher­ished dream of many per­sons and they post­pone it un­til the time of their re­tire­ment. Bet­ter late than never. Yes, it is won­der­ful to start learning some­thing new at an age when the brain cells are not as ac­tive or as sharp as in ear­lier times. En­rol your­self in a lan­guage in­sti­tute or a mu­sic school and set a rou­tine to learn them.

When you learn some­thing new, new pat­terns are formed in the brain which can ac­tu­ally sharpen the in­tel­lect and in­crease the sense of self­worth.

Do not miss out on sleep

Do not re­duce the num­ber of hours of reg­u­lar sleep. The body and mind are con­di­tioned for the fixed time and sched­ule of sleep. Just los­ing out on that can agi­tate the brain and make it ir­ri­tated and con­fused. Lack of sleep of­ten causes a de­crease in cog­ni­tion abil­i­ties.

If due to some rea­son, you have a sleep deficit of half an hour on a par­tic­u­lar day, com­pen­sate that through a short nap dur­ing the af­ter­noon. This re­ac­ti­vates the brain and helps you con­cen­trate and ac­com­plish more in a shorter span of time.

Re­search stud­ies re­vealed that a nap of about half-an­hour dur­ing the af­ter­noon break, in­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity in of­fices.

Food

Get a blood test done as per your doc­tor's ad­vice. The pres­ence of high ho­mo­cys­teine can in­di­cate poor brain health. As a so­lu­tion, the doc­tor may sug­gest the in­crease in in­take of foods rich in vi­ta­min B.

Eat fruits and veg­eta­bles rich in vi­ta­mins B and E. These help in aid­ing nerve and brain health. Nuts like pis­tach­chio, wal­nuts, hazel­nuts and peanuts all con­trib­ute to brain health. Also sources rich in vi­ta­min B like whole grains, broc­coli, cab­bage etc, should be con­sumed reg­u­larly.

Avoid spicy and pro­cessed foods. They do not con­trib­ute to your health. In­stead, they make you lethar­gic and obese, apart from mak­ing your brain dull and pas­sive.

Eat foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids. The best source is fish oil cap­sules. Con­sume them as per the doc­tor's ad­vice. Med­i­ta­tion and deep breath­ing

The above two are sure shots which aid in brain health. Start med­i­tat­ing, at least for 10 min­utes, ev­ery day. Con­cen­trate on your breath­ing dur­ing med­i­ta­tion. Be aware of the cool air that gets in through the nos­trils. Also, feel the hot car­bon diox­ide that is ex­haled. Sim­i­larly, al­low the free flow of thoughts in the brain. Do not be judge­men­tal about them. Nei­ther try to stop thoughts, forcibly. In­stead, be mind­ful of what is hap­pen­ing in­side you. Watch the thoughts like an out­sider who has ab­so­lutely no con­trol on them. A mil­lion thoughts would come, dis­turb you and van­ish. Let this hap­pen. As you progress in med­i­ta­tion, you'll no­tice that you’d reach a thought­less state where your in­tu­itive senses be­gin to de­velop. Aim for such a state.

A 10-minute med­i­ta­tion is equiv­a­lent to an hour of sleep. That sums up the im­por­tance of med­i­ta­tion.

So, keep your brain sharp to stay smart. We

START MED­I­TAT­ING, AT LEAST FOR 10 MIN­UTES, EV­ERY DAY. CON­CEN­TRATE ON YOUR BREATH­ING DUR­ING MED­I­TA­TION. BE AWARE OF THE COOL AIR THAT GETS IN THROUGH THE NOS­TRILS.

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